Articles


Post-traumatic stress is a relatively new psychological phenomena which was classified in the early 1970s largely in response to psychologists recognizing that a proportion of Vietnam War veterans...

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If you have read my previous article exploring how repeated exposure to trauma can lead to learned helplessness you will remember the famous experiment involving Seligman’s dogs. For those who have not read my previous article let me give you a quick recap. Seligman and Maier (1967) realised that if the dogs they were studying were not presented with a means by which to stop or escape an electric shock (i.e., a way to escape their cage or a button/lever to push to stop the electric current) the first time that they were shocked, then most of the dogs would lay down cowering and whimpering during subsequent shock events even if a clear and obvious escape route was provided.

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Life is challenging even at the best of times. Life will always have its ups and downs and the struggle will always be real. The ability to become mentally stronger and resilient however will help you to overcome any adversity that life throws at you. With resiliency and a strong mind, what was once a massive mountain of a problem that would send you into a spiral of depression, anxiety, helplessness and self-doubt becomes but a mere bump in the road and an exciting opportunity to learn and grow. So here are my 5 tips on how to develop a stronger mind and become more resilient.

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Most of us have experienced the whirlwind of passion, romance and excitement whilst in the throes of a new romantic relationship. One thing that all of us would be guilty of doing to some degree is love bombing our romantic interest. Love bombing most commonly occurs during the very early stages of a romance (the honeymoon period) and is characterised by the act of “bombing’ a new partner with excessive love, attention, time, romance, kindness, money and/or gifts. The goal is to attract the attention of a person we desire. Unfortunately, however, love bombing has become unduly associated with narcissism and narcissists that it is rarely mentioned in its healthy form.

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The phrase “oh, I’m so OCD” or “It’s normal, I’m just a little OCD” has become an increasingly common catch phrase to explain away perfectionistic tendencies. So, what is OCD and how does it differ from an obsessive-compulsive personality (OCP) and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD)? Before I begin to differentiate between these three terms, it is first important to understand 2 key concepts. 1. Egosyntonic Thoughts, behaviours, feelings, dreams, wishes, desires, compulsions etc., that do not cause distress or cognitive dissonance (anxiety) and are thus acceptable and in harmony with one’s sense of self and being. 2. Egodystonic Thoughts, behaviours, feelings, dreams, wishes, desires, compulsions etc., which lead to marked distress, displeasure, cognitive dissonance (anxiety) and significant conflict with one’s sense of self and being.

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Whilst the two terms are used interchangeably, there are significant differences between a psychopath and a sociopath. To begin, one of the easiest ways to differentiate between the two is to remember that the P in psychopath stands for primary or pure and the S in sociopath stands for secondary or social. This means that a psychopath is of primary origin. From birth. Pure. The sociopath however, as the name implies, is socially engineered. They are secondary. Below psychopaths in the hierarchy and constructed via social means (i.e., influenced by another/others).

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Within psychology, the concept of qualia refers to subjective or personal conscious experiences. The most common manner in which the concept of qualia is described is with the question ‘Is the colour red that you see the same colour red that I see?’ Basically, what this means is how can two people, who have different biological, neurological, genetic and epistemological makeups, be certain that they are seeing the colour red in exactly the same way? Philosophically speaking, it is not possible to know this. So how can we relate the concept of qualia to people who have experienced trauma and the trauma professionals who claim they can help them?

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Learned helplessness is the belief that we are incapable of changing the course of negative events therefore failure is inevitable. The condition stems from a lack of perceived control. Once learned helplessness has been relied upon for a long time, it can be rather difficult to reverse the effects.

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After so many years this statement from your parents can still play in your mind whenever you stand in front of the mirror examining your clothes before you go out. This constant chatter in your head that judges you and tells you that your clothes look silly. It’s the same as when you go to the beach or the gym and you suddenly become self-conscious and recall all the times someone has called you fat. Or ugly. Or any other mean comment that hurt your feelings and you still hold onto after all this time.

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A very wise person once said to me... “Practice makes perfect but there’s no such thing as perfect so why practice?” So why is this person wise? They are wise because they realise that perfection is a myth. Perfection is an ideal NOT a reality. They understand that chasing after perfection will ultimately lead to a loss of motivation and eventual failure so why bother. In today’s society, a lot of emphasis is placed on perfection. We are bombarded on a daily basis by advertisements, media, employers, friends, family, religions and governments to be perfect citizens. After working in cafe and restaurant kitchens for over 15 years, I have noticed how the demand for perfection has increased significantly...

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1. Choose either a guided meditation or some calming music of your choice. YouTube is a great source for both options. The key to using guided meditation is listening. Really listening. Listening, trusting and following the instructions of your chosen guided meditation will help you to attain a meditative state faster. Once you practice meditation for a while, any kind of your favorite music can be used. Just keep the key ideas about meditating in mind and you will relax in no time. 2. If you want to use incense sticks or fragrant oils, choose very subtle fragrances...

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